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The Mayfield Handbook of Technical & Scientific Writing
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Section 8.6

Exclamation Points

In technical and scientific writing, use exclamation points only to end warning or caution statements or as specialized scientific notation. For other purposes, use a period or question mark.


Place the power supply latch in the locked position before plugging in the device! Failure to lock the power supply latch may result in severe injury!


Do not continue if there are any files on the disk you wish to keep! The format procedure will destroy all files stored on the disk.

Specialized Scientific Notation

Use the exclamation point as a factorial symbol in mathematical notation.


5! [represents 5 × 4 × 3 × 2 × 1]

Use the exclamation point as a phonetic symbol in linguistic representations.

Some interesting counterexamples appear in !Kung syntax.

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## Exclamation Points ##
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